Indianapolis east side restaurant offers discount for licensed handgun carriers after robbery

At noon Monday, there was a steady stream of customers heading to Papa Roux, many with a license to carry a handgun that would earn them a 25-percent discount.
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An Indianapolis restaurant is offering a meal discount if you have a license to carry a handgun.

The owner of the Papa Roux Cajun restaurant on E. 10th St. is implementing the policy after a robbery. It's the third violent act against a restaurant in the past week.

At noon Monday, there was a steady stream of customers heading to Papa Roux, many with a license to carry that would earn them a 25-percent discount. There's a sign on the door asking customers for patience as Papa Roux deals with a tremendous amount of media coverage since the story broke on Saturday.

“The word needs to get out,” said owner Art Bouvier, speaking about those people in line with a license to carry a handgun.

“It seems like the world is coming to a place where a lot of people are taking advantage of goodhearted people and just coming in and taking and taking, and maybe it's time we stood up to that,” said Tina Miller of Indianapolis.

Someone walked into Papa Roux Saturday, threatened that they had a weapon and stole an undetermined amount of cash from the tip jars. Owner Art Bouvier responded by posting to Facebook an offer of 25 percent off to any customer who came in with a license to carry a handgun. Bouvier says he's not trying to showboat or make a political statement. He just feels it's the right thing to do under the circumstances.

"I had a guy in here Saturday night who illegally brought a gun in and wanted to do harm with it. It's propaganda, right? The best mental push-back for that is for people to think, 'Oh, there may be people in there who are legally carrying guns so maybe I should go somewhere else.' And if everybody were to do that, there's nowhere else to go," Bouvier said.

Customers were lined up at the counter for lunch Monday. Local and national media have responded to Bouvier, along with the National Rifle Association.

One customer said, "I feel like this is the safest place in Indy today."

"These days I feel like a lot of people are just taking and taking an it's time that someone took a stand," said another customer.

While diners packed the small eatery in a show of support, detractors on Facebook wrote, "I do not want stuck in the crossfire" and "Won't be going there ever."

Bouvier feels more people armed in his restaurant will act as a deterrent to future robbery attempts. In the case of a robbery, though, police insist officers always be called and customers open fire only as a last resort.

“It's got to rise to a level where a reasonable person would invoke fear for their life,” explained IMPD Sgt. Kendale Adams.

Once again, the Roux finds itself in the spotlight. Once again, dishing out a healthy serving of social commentary.

“I didn't expect it to be a publicity event in any way, and I don't understand it. I'm thrilled for it - I'll use it, you know I will - but I don't understand it,” said Bouvier.